Match corresponding to the 8th Round of the Gibraltarian Premier Division and played on Monday 23rd November at 20:30 at the Victoria Stadium
Gibraltar United Football Club 2 – 1 Angels Football Club
Gibraltar United Football Club
1 Kyle ‘Chino’ Goldwin
11 Jared Buhagiar
30 David Gallardo
19 Brad Power
88 Carl Thomas
33 Alan Parker
21 Duane Robba
20 Abderrahman Bakakri
10 Andrew Lopez (C)
18 Byron Espinosa
8 Robert Montovio
Jamie Currer on for Abderrahman Bakkari
‘Pitu’ Anes on for Duane Robba
Sean Gilbert on for Robert Montovio
A crucial game against Angels sees Manolo Nuñez opting for his most attacking line up yet. An aggressive 4-2-3-1 with plenty of potential fire power in the line up. Parker and Robba retain their berths while Robert Montovio is recalled to lead the line. Andrew Lopez partnered Duane in center midfield. The match may have long reaching repercussions at the end of the season and a result is needed if our priceless point against Britannia on opening day is to be made good!
Angels kicked the game off and from the start decided to impose a quick tempo on the game. United were resolute in keeping their shape totally aware that victory in this game could mean a great deal in the final outcome this season. Robba brought a great deal of composure to our midfield, his experience the telling factor early doors. Likewise Power and Gallardo at the back marshalled Palomino very effectively. Despite this fact it was Angels with the first clear cut chance of the game. Moreno was put through clear on goal by a delightful through ball. United supporters feared the worst. Up stepped Chino, whose performance would tower like a colossus over this game, to superbly deny the Angels player with a terrific one on one save. His next intervention was a smart diving save from a Palomino shot that was heading into the net. The Gib Utd keeper was clearly up for it tonight!
United’s attacking play came mostly through the deft feet of Espinosa and Parker. Indeed, the former Lincoln man had United’s only decent chance of the first half as he curled a well delivered free kick just shy of the post. Most of the first 45 minutes proved to be a cagey affair, both teams solid in the middle of the park and seeking to find the backs of the center halves. Brad Power once again showing that a good footballer can adapt to any position by continuing his development as a defender using his body cleverly yet showing his good touch of the ball when needed. Angels, in a similar situation to us in the league, kept on at it and as Barcelo blew the half time whistle the game hung on a tenterhook.
The second half kicked off with a different mentality as both teams sought the win and it was Angels that broke the deadlock. Chino, once again denying Palomino in another one on one stand off, was beaten by a close range effort from the aforementioned striker. The goal came from some very good play by Toufik Lauria from the right wing that left Jared behind. He rifled in a devilish cross into a packed area and the ball seemed to ricochet off either the Angels striker or the unfortunate Power. Whatever the case, Angles were 1-0 up and their players jubilant, the significance of the goal in such an important match obvious to all.
Yet United are known for their resolution and their gutsy attitude not to take results lying down. They had equalised less than 10 minutes later. Nuñez had subbed off the ineffective Bakkari for Jamie Currer. The former Glacis United man injected pace and energy into the wings and he pounced upon a Parker through ball and dashed into the area. There he was felled by the Angels defender Villada. Up stepped Robert Montovio to blast the penno past the flailing Perez Mateo in the Angels goal. 30 minutes to go and game on. Confidence was on the up and every single United player on the pitch scented a most needed victory.
A tiring Duane Robba was replaced by ‘Pitu’ Anes. A substitution that was soon to pay maximum dividends. 5 minutes after his entry into the game he picked up the ball some 25 yards out from the Angels goal line. Taking one quick look up to spot where the keeper was he swung his right leg back and solidly struck the ball that sped like a bullet through the Angels defence. The ball was struck with such ferocity and accuracy that the flying Mateo had no chance. The net bulged as the ball made contact with it and sent United supporters wild with delirium. Everyone knew the importance of this goal. United had fought back from one down to go ahead and set up a much needed victory.
Credit to Angels though as their heads did not drop and they went in search of an equaliser. A job that was made easier by a crazy two minutes that saw Carl Thomas receive two yellow cards and also saw Montovio go into the book. Indeed an Angels freekick on the edge of the United area meant some a nervous few minutes for United fans as the clock was eventually run down by some savvy play in the corner by Gilbert (who had come on for Montovio) and Parker.
United tasted victory for the first time this season and opened a four point gap with the two teams below them with two games in hand. A solid team effort but Chino has to be credited with an outstanding performance that kept the team in the game with several top class saves, to add to his already impressive portfolio this season. Next up in the league it is Manchester 62 this coming Saturday, not before our Reserves play St Joseph’s Reserves this coming Wednesday.